I was kind of stumped when spell check did not work on my slackware 13.1 machine (KDE 4.4.x) so I jumped onto my slackware 12.2 machine (KDE 3.5.10) and oo spell check did not work there either!! Yet I could use aspell -c [filename] at the command line to check .txt files, and Kword, Kate spell check, worked fine, so why not open office?
After researching (okay googling) and thinking I was about to go through several hours of pulling my hair out trying to fix this, I stumbled upon a post that said all that was needed was to get the dictionary 'extension' for your language. They can be found here:
If you can't get directly to that page, you may have to start from openoffice.org and go to the downloads and navigate your way there. In my case, the file I needed was something like en_US.oxt and I simply downloaded that, about 256K, then opened up open office, went to tools, then the extension manager, then 'add extension', navigated to the dir where I had the en_us.oxt downloaded, clicked on that, and voila, all done !!! Same process I'm sure to add other dictionaries.
This process is for versions of Open Office 3.0 and greater, a different procedure is used for older versions. This worked in less than 5 minutes for both my slackware 12.2 and 13.1 boxes, no problem.
I hope this help someone who may have the similar problem. What is was doing, since there was no dictionary installed, for whatever reason, it would give the message 'spell check complete', and when you would click OK the whole thing would close.
A bit of FYI, my Open Office is version 3.0 and I downloaded the .tgz package from linux packages.org and up until this incident, I've never had any issues with oo 3.0 as I use it extensively for mostly .xls spreadsheets and occasionally to view .pps file that people send me.
As it happened, I was using my SW 13.1 machine to help a friend with a resume, I usually use Kword on my sw 12.2 box with KDE 3.5.10 but I simply do not like all the widgety little floating and docking boxes that Kword in sw 13.1 / KDE 4.4 has, so, I did her resume in OO 3.0 and discovered the spell check problem.
This was a quick and easy fix and I would think be applicable to any distro. My guess is that the install script simply did not put the dictionary in the right place, or at all.
It's interesting to note the different types of spellcheckers in use, aspell, ispell, and I think 'enchant' is one of the newer ones.